Women police officers have a very tough time. Some of the male officers are good to work with, but the majority are behenchods. They are lecherous and keep undermining a woman’s capability.
I love wearing jewellery and make-up, but my work does not give me the liberty to do so. Once I wore lipstick to work, but the comments made me decide against doing so again. Colleagues think that the sole purpose of wearing make-up is to attract the attention of seniors and get a good marking. The majority of people in the police force have a rural background. Their mindset is conservative and it shows during case detection.
It is really difficult to work when we have our monthly cycles. The police stations do not have separate toilets for women. Bandobast is the worst time for policewomen. It is very tiring as you have to go for long periods without sustenance. Actually, whether we do a good job or bad, we only get criticism, so now we do a half-hearted job.
Many policewomen are not interested in their jobs. Cases of extramarital affairs between police personnel are very high. This affects operations. This is also one of the reasons for the decay of the police force.
I am not attractive, but with the uniform on, I always get a second look. But I still feel trapped in this profession. There are times when I feel depressed about being in the police force.
It is also difficult not to be corrupt; there is so much temptation. I am lucky my house does not run on my salary alone. But I can see my male colleagues trying to make ends meet. Also, if your senior is corrupt, then you cannot be straight. Not if you want to rise in your career. People, however, don’t give cash to policewomen. Gifts are in kind—saris, restaurant expenses, jewellery, electronic goods, etcetera.
Senior officers always try to take all the credit. Which is why you see only one officer as the face of a department. This is called press manipulation. Everything works on manipulation—you can get the best cases, the best department and everything else.
(This officer has been with Mumbai Police for nearly a decade)